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US seaports record surging volumes on back of robust economy

Many US sea ports achieved record or near-record cargo volumes in the first half of this year, building on the high benchmark set in 2018 for import and export volumes, thanks to an expanding and resilient US economy.

Port Authority of New York & New Jersey deputy director Beth Rooney was quoted as saying in a report by Washington’s DC Velocity: “Year-to-date container volume is up seven percent over 2018, and that was a record year as well.” The port is continuing to roll out expansion projects. Its latest achievement was the opening of the new ExpressRail Port Jersey facility that marked the completion of a major upgrade of the port’s intermodal rail network.

Farther down the coast, South Carolina Ports Authority chief executive Jim Newsome said the robust US economy is fuelling regional manufacturing and driving exports of automobiles, chemicals, forest products and auto parts through the port of Charleston. Like other ports, South Carolina is in the midst of extensive port infrastructure improvements and expansions. It is optimising the Wando Welch terminal, a 400-acre complex that moves 1.1 million TEU annually. Port of Oakland on the west coast saw total import/export container volume in the first six months of 2019 rise 3.6 percent from last year’s record.

Hong Kong box volume slowdown continues with 8.3pc fall in July

The Port of Hong Kong suffered another container volume decline of 8.3 percent to 10,578 TEU in July after an 8.2 percent slip in June and nine per cent drop year on year after unbroken slippages back to January 2018. Kwai Tsing Terminal suffered an 8.7 percent decline to 8,262 TEU in July year on year while the smaller river trade fell 6.8 per cent to 2,316 TEU.

Australian state fast tracks review of second lng import terminal

Australia’s New South Wales government said on Wednesday it will fast track its review of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal at the port of Newcastle, proposed by a South Korean firm, as the state urgently looks to beef up gas supply.

The $430 million Newcastle GasDock LNG project, planned by South Korean firm EPIK, was declared “critical state significant infrastructure”, which means the project will not have to go to the state’s independent planning commission for approval, saving several months in the review process. New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, needs to boost gas supply from 2023 for both industry and gas-fired power due to declining supply from fields off southern Australia and the planned closure of a big coal-fired power plant.


Indian coastal shippers demand more facilities at ports

Indian Coastal shipping players want priority berthing and more free time at ports as India looks to increase the share of coastal cargo movement. This emerged at a conference organised here recently by Concor and Maritime Gateway.

Container Corporation of India (Concor), the PSU which started a weekly coastal shipping service in January, between Kandla and Tuticorin, is witnessing an increase in the total logistics costs as its ships face delay due to lack of dedicated infrastructure for coastal cargo at ports, where priority is given to foreign vessels to berth, according to Concor CMD V Kalyana Rama. The ports give priority to foreign vessels as they pay higher charges to the ports.

Robust Q1 ushers essar ports closer to 60 mt cargo handling target

Essar Ports said higher capacity utilisation at its recently commissioned terminals at Salaya and Vizag, and an increase in third-party cargo, were the two key factors that will help the Company achieve its target of handling 60 million tonnes of cargo by 31 March 2020.

The Company’s first quarter cargo handling performance has been very strong and brought it closer to achieving its target throughput by the end of the current financial year. For the quarter ended 30 June 2019, Essar Ports reported an impressive 17.4 percent growth in cargo volumes across its four terminals. The combined throughput stood at 13.5 million tonnes—up from 11.5 million tonnes in the same period last year.

Hamburg first half volume up 7.5pc to 4.7 million teu, but bulk slips

The Port of Hamburg’s first half container volume 7.5 percent year on year to 4.7 million TEU, the port authority announced. Seaborne cargo throughput at Germany’s largest port rose 4.1 percent in the first half to 69.4 million tons, but bulk cargo slipped 0.3 per cent to 21 million tons.

The increase in containers was attributable to the four new liner services that have linked the Hanseatic City with ports in the US, Canada and Mexico, said the release. The 283,000 TEU handled in Hamburg on container services with the US since the beginning of the year took the United States into second place among Hamburg’s most important partners for container services. Containerships calling Hamburg also increased 3.7 per cent to 3,04. Among these were 89 ultra-large container carriers or 36.9 per cent more, with a slot capacity of 18,000 TEU and over.

Weekly coal ship departures at dominion terminal fall to nine-month low

Dominion Terminal Associates loaded and exported a nine-month low 45,011 st of coal on one coal carrier at its Newport News, Virginia, pier in the week ended Friday, down from a four-month high five ships that exported 363,994 st a week earlier, company data showed Friday.

It was the lowest departures in a week since one coal carrier also departed with 80,370 st onboard in the week ended December 7, 2018. The terminal, which is owned by Contura Energy (65%) and Arch Coal (35%) and served by CSX, loaded the Nord Emperor with 45,011 st of coal on Thursday, the DTA data showed. The ship is expected to reach the Port of San Nicolas, Argentina, on September 2, according to Platts cFlow tradeflow software.

Since January 1, 118 ships have left DTA with 7.28 million st of coal. In the first eight months of 2018, 10.7 million st of coal was exported. Including those departed, DTA currently has 21 ships scheduled to arrive in August that will load 1.25 million st of coal, while 27 are estimated in September to export 1.45 million st, according to the company data. Another 24 ships are currently scheduled to load 1.24 million st.

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